Wind the clock back to the last softball season ... Hawke's Bay's Melanie Gettins ruled the national women's scene.
The Dodgers catcher was named Most Valuable Player after helping Canterbury win the National Fastpitch Championship in Christchurch and a month later was named Most Valuable Player after leading the Dodgers to national women's interclub title glory with nine wins from as many games in North Harbour.
The challenge for the left- hander is to continue this domination when she plays in her third World Series with the White Sox in Haarlem, The Netherlands from August 15-24.
Gettins, 24, will have an extra incentive to perform ... her 17-year-old sister, pitcher Courtney Gettins, will also be in the team.
"It's going to be pretty special to have Courts there ... we will become the first sister battery combination to play at a World Series for the White Sox," Gettins said before the pair left the Bay on Monday.
She tasted 12th and 13th placings at her previous two World Series in Venezuela (2010) and Canada (2012) respectively but is confident the White Sox will achieve their goal of a top eight playoff berth this month. To tick this off the Kiwis must finish in the top four of their pool at the 16-team event.
"Defending champions Japan as well as Canada will be tough but we will be treating our other games as must-wins," Gettins said, referring to China, Puerto Rico, Czech Republic, Russia and Cuba.
A White Sox player since 2006, Gettins has been the first-string catcher for the last four years and is confident of retaining this role. However, she is unsure where head coach Naomi Shaw will play her in the batting lineup.
"With five of our players overseas-based there is more depth in the squad now and there will be more competition for starting berths than in previous campaigns and this will strengthen the team," Gettins said.
While she has had to stick to an arduous training schedule during the winter her sister had a playing stint in the United States with Philadelphia's Chaos before playing for the Junior White Sox at the Canada Cup last month.
"It was good to gauge where I'm at and I did okay," Courtney said. "This is my first senior World Series so it will be a learning experience. Having the combination with Mel will help me but it will just be a case of making the most of the opportunities I get. I know I won't be batting so I can just focus on the pitching," Courtney explained.
Ngati Kahungunu's 2013 Junior Sportswoman of the Year, Courtney is hoping to score a college softball scholarship in the US next year and knows her form in Haarlem will have some impact on where she may end up in the States.
The Gettins sisters have emulated mother Charmaine by gaining White Sox selection however, their mum never played at World Series level.
Auckland-based former Hawke's Bay pitcher Michal Tangaroa will be playing at her fourth World Series. Auckland-based former Hawke's Bay coach Israel Nukunuku will be one of the White Sox assistant coaches.
The White Sox team which arrived in Prague, Czech Republic yesterday to prepare for a buildup tournament is:
Lara Andrews (USA), Kyla Bromhead, Rebecca Bromhead (both Auckland), Ellie Cooper (USA), Megan Farrell, Jennifer Feret (both Auckland), Danica Ferriso (Hutt Valley), Courtney Gettins, Melanie Gettins (both Hawke's Bay), Tyneesha Houkamau, Te Reo Powhiri Matautia (both USA), Katrina Nukunuku (Auckland), Cassie Siataga (Canterbury), Beth Stavert, Michal Tangaroa (both Auckland), Stacey Webster (Australia), Mikayla Werahiko (Canterbury).